James Edward Hergel, Canadian Artist: A Collection

…home holds the heart as nothing else can

find me, buried in this frost & moondance rhythm of light & dark

the northern lights have held me hostage, willingly I die with them 

each summer, each dawn

this quiet haven of stilled sweetness,  thick & beloved, pining admidst the lucid shadows of winter—

there, all things are converging & tearing apart

my heart, my heart

I could pretend I know much more about Canadian artists than I do, but one thing I do know, Canadian artists seem to be some of the most illustrative & colourful. At least, my favourites are & I rarely see art from other countries that touches my heart the same way. 

Perhaps it is the bleak long winters devoid of colour, but I gravitate towards the intense images & bold colours. Often there is a fluidity to the lines that reminds me of blowing snow more than water. The shift colour gradients & deep shadows in many artist’s works is so engrossing. 

From a young age I wanted to be an artist, & for reasons I can’t quite understand, I felt very discouraged from this path. Only now do I realize you just can’t fight these things, you must let yourself be taken along for the ride with artistic journeys. For me, I could pretend only, to be anything else. My nature is artistic. 

Whether it’s been music, writing, visual art, fabric art—I am by nature an artist. This hasn’t always meant I’m good at it by nature, or that I’ve not needed to learn the craft, & practice it, it simply means, I see & dream & feel & live most thouroughly when being creative. I am not good with redundancy or conformity. I get tired, bored & definitely unproductive. Some people thrive on schedule, routine & knowing what comes next. I’ve discovered some people ‘hate surprises’ & change. That, I cannot wrap my mind around. 

I struggle to be constant. It is true, I love my own home, most certainly, my own bed; but, give me challenge & variants & an opportunity to learn new things, & I never get tired or bored. I wish I had a little more constancy to get perfected at something. I feel this might be my greatest flaw. But, if life had unlimited time, the slow gradual opportunity to form a skill as layers of sediment forms a ridge eventually, that would be perfect for my learning style. 

Anyways. Enough about me. I really just wanted to share some lovely art today. 

It’s a day when I expect the snow will start falling any moment now, things are looking browner by the day outside, the days are getting very short & dark, so this spark of colourful artwork is keeping me cheery. Enjoy! 


Sometimes an Excursion Into Electronica is Necessary

So how I find something new & lovely is via iTunes playlists & radio stations. Yesterday was a perfect day for window washing…so I had Electronica cranked. Not sure why that was the genre of choice except the day was warm & the sky was blue & the leaves were heavenly perfect. This crystalline song came on & it felt so wonderfully matched to the weather. 

And I’m so glad I washed that front window yesterday. Such a pretty view of the rising sun.  

In the Round

So one of my decisions I made some years ago now, was that I am unlimited by anything but time when it comes to what I want to learn, what I want to create, what I wish to become. 

I find time can be in short supply, but if given all the time in the world, I decided, yes…decided, I could really learn anything I wanted. I do not have a short attention span. I do have trouble, or have in the past, finishing what I start. Tho, I think I’ve come to realize this as well, is usually a time constraint issue. Many things pull at & unravel, my time. So this week I’ve managed to knit an entire sweater, top to bottom. I’d never learned this style of knitting before, termed ‘magic loop.’ Learning this style meant I managed to knit this sweater entirely on Round needles, even the sleeves, no dpns. I’ve not actually seen sz 36 dpns so, it’s good I learned this technique which like everything practiced, became super easy by the time I finished the project. 

This sweater still needs blocking, it feels rather bulky when I put it on, definitely a heart of winter sweater for skating or other activities where you get too hot in a coat but it’s cold out. It’s knit in a medium size which is large fitting too. Had I known, I would have knit it one sz smaller. 

But the speed of this knit is what is particularly attractive. I started late Sunday & didn’t even work continuously over the last few days and still, I managed to finish it up yesterday. 

I think I’m actually going to consider doing this knit in small for all my girls. I scoped out a more reasonably priced yarn @ Michaels, no special order stuff like this one is, that is machine wash & dryer friendly, unlike this baby, & I think I’m just going to go for it. This is my third sweater. Each one has been a learning tool, and I’m hoping to eventually be able to learn how to do Fair Isle patterns & such. I love Nordic designs & colour combinations. 

My goal when I took on knitting, was to create things, tangible things that have a life & a use beyond the maker of them. I wanted to be creative in a very different way than just writing or painting. I find it can be tedious at times & frustrating when it becomes easier to pull everything out and start again, but, this drive to make & create & persevere I personally felt unneeded to work on.

So, as with the other two sweaters I’ve made, I’m super proud of myself for executing this project to completion & for learning something new. 

I love the blackberry tones with hints of burgundy & navy in this black yarn; and I love the white with  vague greys & greens. Together they feel nature inspired & comforting. Together they look navy & cream but the black looks so black without the white toned yarn, I was truly so surprised how blue it became when contrasted. 

Anyways. That’s this week’s adventures in knitting. 

Who Isn’t Touched? 

So, it’s so far confirmed that three of the four Canadians killed where women who were from Alberta. One woman from the States, Rhonda Laroque was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. So on a personal level, I am touched & saddened deeper when I feel like these things have had some connection to myself. Rhonda & I share both name & faith. So never having known any of these women, I am touched by the obscure closeness of this violence. I’m sad for their families & all the families out there grieving today. I’m sad for those who are struggling to cope. I’m trying to focus on a clean simple life, thankful for the peace of it, even if it is momentary. Suddenly being home doing dishes & folding laundry is not so dull, I’m thankful I am here to do this for my family. I’ve been trying to find other things to occupy my thoughts but, sometimes, it may not be a bad thing to allow a sadness to occupy your thoughts, to sober you to what things have become, & to remember to be grateful for every breath & every day, even the tough ones. 

Psalms 12-14

Today’s daily reading for my schedule is Psalms 12-14. Wow! Well timed. 

There are so many little gems in this reading. It bolsters faith in Jehovah acting on behalf of the righteous. It shows the way we can feel, asking, “how long, O Jehovah, will you forget me? Forever?” Then it shows Jehovah takes note of each of us individually, noting “the foolish one says in his heart: “There is no Jehovah, ” ” pointing out that Jehovah is looking for those seeking him & that he will become a refuge for them, and stating that Jehovah is with the generation of the righteous. 

A short but worthwhile reading for sure. 

One Last Thing for Today’s Memoir

Tom Petty. I was mostly introduced to Tom via The Travelling Wilburys. Those couple albums shaped my love of British & American rock. Tom was proof you don’t have to be good looking or have the ‘perfect’ voice to be beautiful. His lyrics seemed to always have this raw conversational quality that defined a perfectly ordinary moment’s poetic potential. 

There are much bigger fans than myself out there, I’m more an appreciator than fan, but he was one of the ones I’d hoped I’d see perform live & never did. 

This Is So Mind Boggling

Ever since I heard the gunfire in the footage, and then heard the number of killed & wounded, all I can think is—how? How on earth are there weapons out there that one guy in a window can shoot that many people in that small amount of time. How? 

I am a political neutal, live in a country with significantly stricter gun laws, know nothing about weaponry, or crazy people really, but how? 

Can one guy seriously all by his lonesome own a weapon that can do that much damage? 

That is messed up beyond what my mind can process. It seems fishy. It seems foolish at best that these weapons are available to the public. I mean really? You can walk into a gun shop in the States & purchase multiple weapons that are literally designed to kill people? Not hunting rifles, but weapons of war? 

That blows my mind. I always have an unease about visiting America, this just confirms I should be uneasy about it. 

Edmonton just had what is being labeled as a terror attack. A guy rented a uhaul and ran down four pedestrians & just previous to that had rammed a police officer & then stabbed him multiple times in the face. No one died. Here, we were stunned & horrified tho I think we’ve come to expect that this is the state of the world we live in. It’s ‘terrifying’ but what are we supposed to do? ‘Be vigilant’? Seriously. What am I looking for? 

Frankly, I don’t fear any one race or nationality more than another. People seem quite equally prone to badness regardless of their beginnings. 

If it truly was, a white guy with no warning signs or criminal record who committed such a devastating & abhorrent crime in Vegas, and a dark skinned guy who committed the crimes here in the city I live in, who was ‘known’ to police & expected of extremist views, who am I to fear more? By collateral damage, the white guy with no criminal history or extremist views. 

I just have such a hard time believing the world we live in keeps sinking lower & lower. Just when you think it can’t get worse, it numbingly does. 

Of the victims in Vegas, my heart instantly aches for what strikes closest to home, the four kids of one of the Alberta women killed. Those poor kids lost their mom that night. Because why? I don’t know. 

In the Aftermath…Care & Love

One thing I am incredibly proud of is how Jehovah’s organization truly tries its best to show love & support to each other. 

This latest information on the relief work in Mexico, the United States & Puerto Rico is so heart warming. To know that there is real help getting to people through our organization is such a relief. I saw it here with both the southern Alberta floods & the Ft McMurray wildfire, so I have full confidence our spiritual family is being well taken care of & showing love for neighbour whenever possible. The extend of damage in all these locations is staggering, and I pray Jehovah will bless all the efforts of those there.